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Birdland by Tracy Mack


by Tracy Mack

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  cavlibrary | Jun 3, 2012 |
Jed and his family are trying to cope with the death of his older brother. They’re not sure if he killed himself or if his death was accidental. Jed finds it difficult to speak to anyone except Flyer without stuttering. Jed’s father buries himself with work and stops participating in some of the families Jewish traditions. Flyer, Jed’s best friend, is trying to cope with his parents separation and likely divorce. In the mean time, Jed and Flyer are creating a documentary about their neighborhood. Jed tries to help Kiki, a homeless girl, who he believes his dead brother Zeke may have been writing about in his journal.This book is a very quick read and may appeal to reluctant readers. In general, it's appropriate for middle school readers and above. ( )
  iecj | Jul 8, 2009 |
Fourteen-year-old, tongue-tied Jed spends winter break working on a school project filming a documentary about his East Village, New York City, neighborhood, where he is continually reminded of his older brother, Zeke, a promising poet who died the year before. ( )
  STBA | Oct 9, 2007 |
Summary: Jed is making a documentary film about his New York neighborhood for a school project over the Christmas break. Jed’s older brother Zeke died last summer from diabetes, he didn’t take his insulin and drank a half a bottle of vodka. Jed’s mother is now a neat freak and his dad is always at work at the hospital. After his death Jed found Zeke’s notebook of poetry, mostly about the neighborhood, and carries it with him everywhere. Jed also listens to Zeke’s favorite musician Charlie Parker, sometimes. One day Jed sees a homeless girl, Kiki who he thinks is in one of Zeke's poems. Jed lets Kiki stay in his buildings rooftop empty water tower, but discovers that she cuts into her arms and legs, and this morning Kiki cuts to deep. Jed must ask his father for help, not just to save the girl, but also to deal with Zeke’s death.
Evaluation: This book is really interesting because it successfully pulls into itself two completely different mediums from the written word, film and music. The author makes the filming of a documentary within, a book work, and describes what Jed sees through the lens and his different camera angles and perspectives. Mack also evokes a strong sense of place, New York in the winter, with Zeke’s poetry and the music of Charlie Parker. The climax of the plot, with Kiki almost dying seems a little contrived but overall the book is well and sparsely written. ( )
  angellreads | Nov 11, 2006 |
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Flyer and me, we're down here in the basement of New York City.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0439535913, Paperback)

A Greenwich Village teen finds new meaning in jazz and poetry as he struggles with the earth-shattering loss of his older brother in this acclaimed novel's paperback debut.

Amid the sparkle and hum of a New York City winter, Jed and his best friend, Flyer, are filming a documentary about their neighborhood. But what Jed is really in search of is his big brother, Zeke, an inspiring soul who loved jazzman Charlie "Bird" Parker, wrote electrifying poetry, and died too young. When Jed encounters a mysterious homeless girl he thinks holds the key to connecting him to Zeke, it could be the only way to unlock his deepest sorrow and discover how to be--and who to be--on his own.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:05 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Fourteen-year-old, tongue-tied Jed spends Christmas break working on a school project filming a documentary about his East Village, New York City, neighborhood, where he is continually reminded of his older brother, Zeke, a promising poet who died the year before.… (more)

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